Earlier this month, the CPRC circulated the minutes and associated papers of its 1 December meeting. The minutes provide some insight into changes to the rules and practice directions which are likely to come into force in April 2018.
At the meeting, the committee’s discussions included the timing of obtaining transcripts of judgments, amendments to the practice direction—civil recovery proceeding, transfer of cases from the Magistrates’ to High Court requiring amendment to CPR PD 8A to implement the Magistrates’ Courts (Detention and Forfeiture of Terrorist Assets) Rules 2017, the proposal to extend the Public Liability FRC regime to package holiday gastric Illness claims, a proposed Historic Abuse Claims Digital Working pilot—Practice Direction 51T, Amendments to the Business and Property courts practice direction and Open Justice—draft amendments to CRC 39 and associated rules and practice directions.
Agenda and minutes
Transcripts of judgments
Transcripts are being provided on time. The length of time in obtaining transcripts may be due to the lengthy process of requesting a transcription.
Amendments to the practice direction—civil recovery proceedings
The committee considered amendments to a previously considered draft and agreed amendments subject to further amendment to para 18.1.
Transfer of cases from the Magistrates’ to High Court: Amendment to Practice Direction 8A to implement the Magistrates’ Courts (Detention and Forfeiture of Terrorist Assets) Rules 2017
Amendments were agreed. The work has been done in conjunction with the Home Office.
Proposal to extend the Public Liability FRC regime to package holiday Gastric Illness claims
The proposed extension would require a rule change and the drafting of a pre-action protocol (PAP). It is intended that both should come into force in the April 2018 update but the timing is tight. The minutes note:
‘Some committee members expressed reservations as to whether it was appropriate to make the rule at this stage without seeing the responses to the call for evidence and without a clear steer on how an existing PAP and a new PAP would look. Others suggested that the portal would be the appropriate route for claims with suitable adjustments to the existing scheme for low value claims. The difference between the existing scheme and the scheme for GI claims is the availability of medical reports which has an impact on the drafting. There would need to be a change in the FRC set out in Part 45 to accommodate the differences.’
Proposed Historic Abuse Claims Digital Working pilot – Practice Direction 51T
Master McCloud described the proposals for testing an electronic system for handling historic abuse claims. The court deals with a number of claims and the parties are represented. It is a sensitive area of work so it is essential that a secure system is in place. On consultation, the claimant body was willing to adopt the proposals while the defendant body preferred the development of a PAP. There was support for a PAP amongst the committee but it was considered that there would also need to be rule changes eg CPR 5. The matter is to be considered further.
Amendments to the Business and Property courts practice direction
For further information, please see our Practice Note Where to start the claim
Open Justice—draft amendments to CRC 39 and associated rules and practice directions
New drafting was been agreed which includes:
- moving CPR PD 39B to a practice direction supplementing CPR 2
- checking and updating, where necessary, references to bodies such as the Attorney General
- incorporating relevant parts of CPR PD 39A into the rule and removing the remainder
- including a definition of hearing
- changes to CPR 39.2 to strengthen the requirement to sit in public save where there are compelling reasons not to do so and to remove any suggestion of judicial discretion on the issue
- a new draft rule prohibiting unilateral communications with the court on issues of substance or procedure that are not purely administrative
Amendment to CPR PD 75
This is not covered in the minutes but there was a paper setting out the amendment to CPR PD 75 Traffic Enforcement Centre – Littering from Vehicles (Outside London) Keepers: Civil Penalties Regulations 2018.